Jean David, Jerusalem, 1950. Oil and mixed media on board, private collection.
Jean David (1908–1993) was a Romanian-born painter and designer. In the early part of the twentieth century, he contributed to the Romanian avant-garde movement and to the early modern art of the recently founded state of Israel. In 1942, he traveled by boat with 12 other Jews attempting to reach Palestine (Israel would not be founded until 1948). British authorities in Cyprus intercepted the party that time, but in 1944 the group finally arrived at its destination. Shortly after the founding of Israel, David co-founded Ein Hod, an artist’s village and communal settlement that is still in operation today, boasting galleries, workshops, and museums for artists and tourists. This colorful avant-garde depiction of Jerusalem from 1950 is constructed much like an architectural elevation, with roof lines, door frames, and walls jumbled together.